Saturday, June 16, 2012

Interview - Recruitment-Style

"How did we find you?" one man asked, smiling when I shrugged. 

"I'm honestly not sure," I replied, "But I'm very flattered by the interest.  I'm actually happy in my current role."

"But you took the call," he challenged easily and I opened my mouth to reply before closing it, unsure of what to say.  So I smiled sheepishly.

"I actually missed the call," I corrected him.  "But, yes - I did call back."

"It happens to all of us," he said, having switched companies himself.  "When the other side just looks too green to skip a second look."

I tell myself sometimes that I'm not unhappy.  When Sibling asked what that meant, I frowned and tried to explain. 

"Let's say there's a continuum of happiness," I decided.  "Where zero is utter misery and pain and ten is ecstasy.  Happy would be 7-10.  Unhappy would be 0-3.  So if I'm above 3 but below 7, I saw I'm 'not unhappy.'"

And though I'd not admit it in an interview (of course), my professional number has probably hovered around a 4.  I'm sick of so many policies and procedures.  I don't understand some people.  And while there are so many reasons to love what I do, I somehow just don't. 

"So you're too old to go back," Adam said during a recent discussion. 

"To research?" I asked.  "Am not," I pouted when he nodded but soon grinned at him.  "I don't want to return to the world of academics."

"So what do you want?" he asked.

"I don't know," I sighed after a long pause.  "I think I want more responsibility, but I actually just want more power.  I'd like more money, though that seems selfish since I do have enough.  I want to live near my family.  I want to have a dog.  I don't know."

"You want that job," he told me firmly and I nodded obediently, doing my best to get it during my trip to their headquarters.  I read old notes and textbooks.  I reviewed documents and practiced interview questions in the car.  And I took my prettiest dress and favorite jacket and shiniest flats. 

I stayed in a lovely hotel and took a nice walk after breakfast.  I drove my rented minivan (that was luxuriously convenient, honestly - I was ashamed of how much I liked it) to a designated parking lot and freshened my lip gloss before settling in for meetings. 

"Nervous?" one of them asked.

"I must be getting old," I replied.  "Because I'm really not."  And it was easy to pause before answering questions.  To answer honestly and articulately.  To be proud of my responses as I highlighted projects and accomplishments that reminded me that I should feel better than "4" about my career.

"Any concerns about my background?  Is there anything I can address while I'm here?"

"Not from me," the VP replied and returned my smile.  "It's a team decision, honestly, but I know all I need."

And though I'd rather love the job I have, I may take this new opportunity if offered.  There is something about a do-over that I find appealing.  Scary-as-hell, but appealing nonetheless. 

So my head aches and stomach cramps and I sleep more than any human should.  But my dad is feeling better (!!!!!!) and they're thinking of coming to visit next week.  And I have a number of projects which demand my attention and make me feel productive.  We'll see what comes next. 

1 comment:

Dr. Dad, PhD said...

It sounds like your interview went very well, and I hope your dad is turning a corner. From what I've gathered as I've been lurking in the shadows reading your blog, it appears that you might be ready for a change of pace when it comes to your job. Changing venues and starting over has a remarkable restorative powers. Good luck with the new job - I have a feeling that you'll get an offer (fingers crossed).

On a separate note, I love your blog and the life you bring to it. I've had to deal with losing far too many people that were close to me, but I am thankful that my parents are still in relatively in good health. I can only imagine what it must be like for you.

Hang in there - I'm young enough to believe that everything happens for a reason, and old enough to know that there is nothing that can't be overcome with perseverance.

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